9:02 pm: The Padres paid a $500K posting fee to Makita’s Japanese team, the Seibu Lions, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets.
7:35 pm: The Padres have announced the signing.
9:02 am: The Padres have reached a two-year, $3.8MM agreement with Japanese righty Kazuhisa Makita. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the news on Twitter, noting that the team is likely to use him as a bullpen arm.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first reported likelihood of a signing yesterday, which MLBTR covered here. As we noted at that time, reports that Makita would be posted surfaced around the same time that Shohei Ohtani was posted. The former Pacific League Rookie of the Year owns a career ERA of 2.83 across 921 1/3 innings, though he’s barely struck out one batter for every two innings pitched during that span.
Notably, Makita’s fastball sits in the low 80’s; he relies more on its movement and some deception in his delivery. He pitches submarine-style, like Brad Ziegler and Peter Moylan. The 33-year-old stands at just 5’10” and weights 181 pounds.
Makita will add to a thin San Diego bullpen that includes the likes of Brad Hand, Kirby Yates and Phil Maton at the back end. His contributions, along with a hopeful return to health by former phenom Carter Capps, could pave the way for improvements to a bullpen that ranked 24th among MLB teams in ERA last season, and 29th in WAR. That’s good news for a Padres pitching staff whose rotation averaged just over 5 1/3 innings per start in 2017.